Identifying multicultural managerial competencies informing the content of a Master's program in International Management
SubjectGlobal and cross-cultural management
The fabric of the workforce is changing. Indeed, domestic managers are working with an increasingly multicultural workforce at home while managers who travel abroad often work with people from multiple cultures. Concurrently, managers are often required to work with people in organizations that span across geographic boundaries, located in various time zones, relying mainly on information technology. However, empirical guidelines to train managers facing these challenges are scant as management typologies fall short when it comes to identifying the skills needed for simultaneously working with people from multiple cultural backgrounds.The goal of this study was to identify a repertoire of multicultural managerial competencies for work at home and abroad, in face-to-face contexts and via the use of technology. Using competency modeling as a conceptual framework, we enlisted the help of 20 mid- to upper-level managers who were invited to participate in individual behavioral event interviews to discuss positive and negative critical incidents and to answer questions grounded in job analysis. Data was analyzed using thematic (content) analysis based on a mixed method, a process that mostly illustrated the emergence of new competencies. ATLAS.ti was then used to code transcripts and to cross-reference behaviors according to emerging competency categories. Managers were then invited to validate the relevance of the initial version of the typology and to confirm that no competencies or related behaviors were missing.The resulting Multicultural Managerial Competency (MMC) typology, outlining five competence categories that combine 12 competencies along with their 71 corresponding behavioral indicators, makes both theoretical and practical contributions while offering flexibility for application. Indeed, the MMC typology illustrates an overlap between management and intercultural/cross-cultural literature, confirming that managers in multicultural contexts are called upon to invest in the management of trusting relationships, in distance management, as well as in expatriate management. Multicultural elements also permeate classic business and team functions thereby giving management requirements a new form. In terms of practical applications, the MMC typology provides concrete behavioral indicators for managers to use as guidelines for competence and serves to inform the creation of university curricula in international management.
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